Join MEI Faculty Chair Professor Tarek Masoud for a panel discussion on the recent events in Israel and Gaza featuring former Ambassador to Israel and Syria Edward P. Djerejian, Professor Shai Feldman of Brandeis University, Director of the Regional Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo Dr. Abdel Monem Said Aly, and Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah Dr. Khalīl Shikaki, with introductory remarks from Belfer Center Director Professor Meghan O’Sullivan. Panelists will analyze the implications of President Biden’s recent visit to Israel, Saturday’s emergency summit in Cairo, and what opportunities for diplomacy may emerge from these conditions. 

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Ambassador (Ret.) Edward P. Djerejian joins Harvard Kennedy School's Middle East Initiative following his almost 30-year tenure as founding director of Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy (1994 to 2022). 

Djerejian joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1962 after his service in the Army in Korea (1961-1962).  His 32-year diplomatic career spanned eight presidential administrations from John F. Kennedy to William J. Clinton. Djerejian is a leading expert on national security, foreign policy, public diplomacy, and the complex political, security, economic, religious, and ethnic issues of the broader Middle East. He has played key roles in the Arab-Israeli peace process and regional conflict resolution. He is the author of Danger and Opportunity: An American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East.

He was staff assistant to George W. Ball, the Under Secretary of State, from 1962 to1964.  He served as a political officer in Beirut, Lebanon (1966-1969) and Casablanca, Morocco (1969-1972). Between 1975 and 1977, he was assigned as Consul General in Bordeaux, France.  He was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from 1979 to 1981, where he headed the political section, during the critical period in U.S.-Soviet relations marked by the invasion of Afghanistan.

Djerejian served as Deputy Chief of the U.S. mission to the Kingdom of Jordan (1981-1984).  Djerejian was assigned to the White House in 1985 as Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan and Deputy Press Secretary of Foreign Affairs.  He was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (1986-1988). Djerejian served both President Reagan and President Bush as U.S. Ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic (1988-1991). He then served under President Bush and President Clinton as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (1991-1993).  He was appointed by President Clinton as United States Ambassador to Israel (1993-1994).  In these capacities, he played a key role in the Arab-Israeli peace process, the U.S.-led coalition against Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, successful efforts to end the civil war in Lebanon, the release of U.S. hostages in Lebanon, and the establishment of collective and bilateral security arrangements in the Persian Gulf.

Ambassador Djerejian graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 1960. He received an Honorary Doctorate in the Humanities from his alma mater in 1992 and a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from Middlebury College. He speaks Arabic, Russian, French, and Armenian.

Djerejian has been awarded the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Anti-Defamation League’s Moral Statesman Award, the Award for Humanitarian Diplomacy from Netanya Academic College in Israel, the National Order of the Cedar, bestowed by President Émile Lahoud of Lebanon, the Order of Ouissam Alaouite, bestowed by King Mohammed VI of Morocco, and the Order of Honor, bestowed by President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia. He is also a recipient of the Association of Rice Alumni’s Gold Medal for his service to Rice University and a Life Member of the Baker Institute Board of Advisors. Djerejian is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent policy research centers. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.  Djerejian also served on a number of corporate boards including Global Industries, Inc., Occidental Petroleum Corporation where he was chairman of the board from 2013-2015, Baker Hughes Company, and currently with The Mexico Fund and Magnolia Oil & Gas Operating LLC.

He is married to Françoise Andree Liliane Marie (Haelters) Djerejian. They have two children, Gregory Peter Djerejian and Francesca Natalia Djerejian, and four grandchildren, Isabel Djerejian, Sebastian Djerejian, Cassandra Colombe Vargas and Camila Ava Vargas

 

Shai Feldman is president of Sapir Academic College in Sha'ar Hanegev (near Sderot), Israel. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and is a fellow of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London. From 2001-2003, Feldman served as a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. From 1997-2005, Feldman was Head of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. He is the author or co-author of numerous books among which the most recent is Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East, with Abdel Monem Said Aly and Khalil Shikaki (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) — the first-ever university textbook on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict to have been co-authored by an Israeli, a Palestinian, and an Egyptian presenting a broader Arab perspective.

 

Abdel Monem Said Aly is the founding director and honorary chair as well as the treasurer of the board of directors of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He has been the chairman of the board and CEO of Al Masry Al Youm Publishing House in Cairo since February 2013, and the chairman of the board, CEO, and director of the Regional Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo since January 2012. He was the director of the Ahram Center for Strategic Studies from 1994-2009 and president from 2009-11. He obtained his BA from Cairo University and his MA and PhD in political science from Northern Illinois University. He has published many articles and books in Arabic and English. His most recent publications are State and Revolution in Egypt: The Paradox of Change and Politics (Brandeis University, Crown Center for Middle East Studies, January 2012) and, with Shai Feldman and Khalil Shikaki, Arabs and Israelis, Conflict and Peace Making (London: Belgrave and MacMillan, 2013).

 

Khalil Shikaki is a Professor of Political Science and director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (Ramallah, Palestine). Since 2005 he has been a senior fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. He finished his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University in 1985, and taught at several Palestinian and American universities. Between 1996-99, Dr. Shikaki served as Dean of Scientific Research at al Najah University in Nablus. He spent summer 2002 as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. Since 1993, Dr. Shikaki has conducted more than 200 polls among Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and, since 2000, dozens of joint polls among Palestinians and Israelis. 

Between 1998-99, jointly with Dr. Yezid Sayigh, Dr. Shikaki led a group of more than 25 Palestinian and foreign experts on Palestinian institution building. The findings of the group were published in a Council on Foreign Relations’ report, Strengthening Palestinian Public Institutions (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1999). Shikaki and Sayigh were the principal authors of the report.

Dr. Shikaki’s research has focused on the peace process, Palestinian state building, public opinion, transition to democracy, and the impact of domestic Palestinian politics on the peace process. He is the co-author of the annual report of the Arab Democracy Index and a member of the Steering Committee of the Arab Barometer, two initiatives led by the Arab Reform Initiative. His recent publications include “The future of Israel-Palestine: a one-state reality in the making,” NOREF Report, May 2012; "Coping with the Arab Spring; Palestinian Domestic and Regional Ramifications, " Middle East Brief, no. 58, Crown Center for Middle East Policy, Brandeis University, December 2011; Public Opinion in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Public Imperative During the Second Intifada, with Yaacov Shamir, Indiana University Press, 2010; and “Palestine 1993-2006: Failed Peacebuilding, Insecurity and Poor Governance,” in Stephen Baranyi (ed.) The Paradoxes of Peacebuilding Post-9/11 (Vancouver, Canada: UBC Press, 2008).